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this is a how to: for replacing a front wheel bearing without power tools or a press. hand tools only and 1 specialty tool from Autozone rented.

Autozone #27137 OEM/bushing driver tool set.


tools needed:
1/2" ratchet
32mm axle nut socket
34mm axle nut socket (optional)
two jack stands
14mm socket (sway bar end link nut)
17mm wrench and socket (strut bolts)
19mm wrench (tie rod, caliper mounting bolts)
22mm wrench or crescent wrench if you don't have a wrench that big (lower ball joint nut)
dikes (needle nose pliers to remove cotter pins)
hammer


I used a brand new OEM hub and bearing. take caution if you will reuse your old hub not to fuck up the axle threads.

this is a fairly easy procedure if you take your time.

1. start with removing the center cap on the wheel and removing the big cotter pin.


2. use a 1/2" breaker bar or ratchet in my case as i didn't have my breaker bar with me. i also used the jack handle as leverage on the 32mm axle nut.

3. loosen lugs, jack the car up and remove the wheel

4. remove caliper mounting bolts and i normally just hang my caliper on the strut but you can bungie it or whatever. remove the rotor.


5. remove cotter pin from tie rod and loosen bolt. remove lower nut from sway bar end link. also loosen strut mounting bolts but don't remove them yet.


6. give the knuckle a few good wacks on the side of the tie rod to loosen it from the arm. you can also use a pickle fork if you have one. again i didn't have it with me.


7. remove strut mounting bolts now that you have the tie rod loose and remove the axle nut completely to push the axle out of the hub. DO NOT hammer on the end of the axle unless you want to fuck up the threads and buy a new axle!

8. now the hub is almost free and should be leaning towards you. remove the lower cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint. again give the knuckle a few good wacks to loosen the ball joint.


9. now that you have the knuckle free you can move to the "workbench". i used two jackstands butted up against the tire with one foot holding the other stand to keep them from moving too much.
take your specialty tool and use the proper spacer and driver. wack the crap out of it until the hub falls through the bottom. living in socal means i usually don't need to use pb blaster or anything. you may need some.


10. after some cussing and crying from smacking your hand a few times, you should end up with something like this.


11. next you need to remove the snap ring holding the bearing in place. if you have snap ring pliers more power to you. i used a set of dikes and a screwdriver to wedge it out. don't use a hammer to drive a screwdriver into the hub.


12. now we are going to remove the bearing. use the 32mm axle socket upside with a stack of the spacers from the special tool box. they fit perfect inside the socket for me at least.



13. more hammering, crying and cussing and you should eventually get the bearing out.


14. i used a 1200 grit piece of sandpaper to lightly buff the bore to remove any crap inside of the knuckle.


15. pat yourself on the back. you're half way home!! take a break and have a glass of water.. or beer if you're into that kind of thing.

16. let's get this show on the road. place the bearing into the knuckle so it's level. DO NOT use grease or oil on the outside of the bearing to "help it slide in easier"


17. lightly tap it with a hammer around the outer edge of the bearing in a circular motion. i would recommend a bronze tip hammer, but i don't have one so i used a regular steel one. just be careful not to fuck up the bearing. you don't need to smash it in, just light taps and it will begin to go down.



18. once it's flush with the knuckle you need to use the 32mm socket again with the stack of spacers. lightly tap it again to continue pressing the bearing in until it seats.



19. once it starts to make a dead blow sound you'll know it's seated. then you can install the snap ring.


20. next we're going to install the hub, place it in the bearing and try to make sure it's level. we're going to use a 34mm axle nut socket to press it in. the 32mm socket will probably work just as well but i used the larger 34mm because it fit the hub better to distribute the blows more evenly to the outside.


21. this is the view from the rear once the hub is seated.


22. congratulations!! you just saved yourself a load of duckets and learned something new.

23. lets get this thing back on the car. install is reverse of removal. make sure you remember those cotter pins on the lower ball joint and the tie rod. also don't forget to put the end link back in the control arm before you install the strut bolts, otherwise it will be more of a pain to leverage the control arm to get it back in if everything is back together.



24. all buttoned up and make sure to clean any greasy fingerprints off the rotor.


25. put the wheel back on and lower the car just enough to have the tire touching the ground. now we are going to tighten the axle nut. normally you would use a torque wrench and tighten it to like 150ft/lbs or something. mine was MIA so i just tightened it from experience.


26. you need to remove the wheel again so you can install the cotter pin. try to use new ones if possible. they are usually pretty brittle after one use. also make sure to widen the "hoop" if it's not big enough so it doesn't slip out.


27. there you have it!! you're done.



now go for a test drive and enjoy the serene sound of a quiet and properly functioning wheel bearing!
 

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Ive pulled my tranny, my head, and yanked 100 axles. Nothing is more painful than this job.

Good write up. Im sure ill be needing it in the future.
 

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Nice, thorough write up.
 

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1 question, maybe stupid. how do you compress the spring strut assembly to rebolt it in place?
 

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1 question, maybe stupid. how do you compress the spring strut assembly to rebolt it in place?
maybe i need to rephrase my question. how will i get the 19mm bolt holes at the top of the spindle assembly and the bottom of the strut to line back up. it seems that the strut will need to be compressed.

I have it all disassembled right now. I am planning on bringing the bearing to a garage to be replaced then reassembleing myself.
 

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maybe i need to rephrase my question. how will i get the 19mm bolt holes at the top of the spindle assembly and the bottom of the strut to line back up. it seems that the strut will need to be compressed.

I have it all disassembled right now. I am planning on bringing the bearing to a garage to be replaced then reassembleing myself.
I use an alignment tool its a 3/4 inch rod that comes to a point. takes a little wiggling but they will line up. Also a little heat on the bearing housing and keeping the bearing in the freezer a couple hours helps loads.
 

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Heres a real question, what bearings are you using, those are def not oem and they look more.... I can't think of teh word but reliable comes close?
 

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So I got a spare set of knuckles, and pressed out the hubs and bearings with this method today. I can't remember if I started at 5 or 6pm, and it's 7pm now... So took me a freakin long time. Lol.

I ended up getting two jack stands, 2 spare wheels with tires, a giant hammer, and a whole lot of time. I put one wheel against the wall, then I butted the two jackstands like in the how to, and then I put a second tire on the other end, and sat on it while I hammered away.

I have 5 lug hubs with bearings already pressed in them. Could I just use this same method of lightly hammering the hub (with bearing attached) into the knuckle?



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Front and rear are different, Sammy. I believe 32mm front and 30mm rear. I don't know of any difference in front axle sizes from one B15 to another.
 

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Oh crap, I'm sorry if I gave you a bum scoop dude! I'll have to relook at my sockets tonite. I would have sworn it was 32,30 as I just had those nuts off last weekend!
 

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Oh crap, I'm sorry if I gave you a bum scoop dude! I'll have to relook at my sockets tonite. I would have sworn it was 32,30 as I just had those nuts off last weekend!
Honestly, my car is probably a freak. One axle is a 35mm, the other the 35mm is still too small. The 36mm doesn't fit through the center bore of my wheels though... I think I might hold off on this today. Lol



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Out of any work I have done to this car, this was the BIGGEST PITA EVER.

Next time, I will just have a shop do it lol. My inner race of the bearing got stuck on the hub. It seemed as if the job was too easy until I spied the piece stuck on there. I took a pry bar to it, with a Honda D-Series motor on a palette to hold the hub down and it barely budged. Stupid press fit. I took it to Can-Tire the next day and they removed that with a press in 5 seconds LOL.

If you have time and patience, this is an "easy" job. But like I said, I'll have a shop do it next time haha.
 
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